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I have recently had a lot of people asking me about what they should give away as their information marketing freebie. Everyone should have one or two or a hundred great freebies in their arsenal.

To get people to opt-in to your list, you need to give away something of value. Preferably a digital item of some sort. What should it be? The logical answer is something that makes sense for your market.

What about if people can find your FREEBIE without giving you their contact info? Then what?

Let’s take a quick, intentional detour and talk about music. Musicians who try and prevent people from pirating their music continue to fight a losing battle. No matter how big or important the musician, they always end up one step behind the folks who want to STEAL their STUFF.

For those who remember the group, I think the “Grateful Dead” understood how to make the system work FOR them. Rather than expect people to be honest (what a concept), they expected that people would want to STEAL their songs.

There were more bootleg recordings of Grateful Dead concerts than any music act in history. NEWSFLASH: They were also one of the most successful acts in history. Rather than try and fight the system, they USED the system to their advantage.

If you ever heard one of the bootleg recordings from these folks, they were always AWFUL. Net result? After people listened to the bootlegs they often times went out and bought the album.


This example isn’t entirely analogous to Information Marketing Freebies. The vast majority of the freebies info marketers create are digital. This means that each copy is as good as the original. That’s what makes this day and age a little different than the era when the Grateful Dead was in their heyday.

So, what is the intelligent information marketer to do?

Try and protect your content so NO ONE can get to it. So it can’t be copied? Good luck with that one. People are amazingly resourceful. They will find just about anyway to get something they want . . . FOR FREE!

IF the Grateful Dead were big today, they would use a different approach. The approach that most current groups use.

Understanding that DIGITAL content is easily duplicatable, you have to find a way to extract money from your customer’s wallet even when they are STEALING from you with their other hand.

Here’s what smart musicians are doing. They understand that no matter how hard they try, people will find a way to COPY and STEAL songs from them. Sad but true. Even ITunes with their new “flat fee for storage” policy understands this fact. Apple has told people that for a flat fee of $25 monthly, they will “update” your content to the newest/best possible recording of a tune.

Apple is now sharing some of this revenue with the artists whose tunes have been “acquired” along the way.

The Democrats and Republicans have been fighting for years about whether to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Apple (along with the recording companies) have already given in. They have granted amnesty to everyone who has ever “acquired” a song through nefarious means. Just pay your $25 monthly and they will UPGRADE all your tunes to the latest and greatest version.

Apple understands that people have been STEALING content. They have now found a way to monetize that stolen content. Both for them and the recording artists.

Back to your information marketing freebie.

Trust me, that precious giveaway of yours WILL be stolen. Maybe that SHOULDN’T be the case, but it is. AND, if you don’t understand how to make use of this fact, and profit from it, you will lose the information marketing game.

Over a year ago, I started giving away my ebooks without requiring people to give me their email address. Why? Because I made a computation. How many MORE people would be willing to check out my ebooks if I didn’t ask them for their email address. The answer? A LOT more.

Why? Because people hate getting spammed. Once they give you their email address, no matter how craftily worded your PRIVACY POLICY is, people are suspicious. They should be. Many people don’t abide by the rules they say they will.

The solution?

Understand that virtually ANY information marketing freebie you create will be stolen. This is particularly true if it’s REALLY GOOD.

If you believe what you produce is REALLY GOOD, your natural inclination will be to protect it like a hawk. In the information marketing world, your instincts are misguided.

Why not accept the fact that people will “lift” your stuff? Doing so will allow you to put a different/better plan in place.

Picture this. Someone gets a hold of your information marketing freebie through a friend. That friend then sends an email to THEIR friends with your PDF or MP3 file attached.

How do you now monetize your FREEBIE? You don’t have that last person’s email address. You can’t send them any offers.

Simple. You need to IMBED messages (within the freebie) that will end up making you money. Here’s my best example from my own material.

Now that I’m giving my ebooks away for free without asking for an email address, I’m getting about 10 times more people to download them. In every one of my books, I promote a PLETHORA of other sites and services. The vast majority of those sites and services, I make money from.

My thinking is this.

If I can increase the number of people who get exposed to my material by a factor of 10, not having their email addresses will become inconsequential. Would I like to have them? Sure.

Do I NEED to have them to make money? Absolutely NOT.

My mother always used to say: “A lock only keeps an honest man honest.” No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to put a PADLOCK on digital content. It will ALWAYS get lifted.

The question now is how to use that fact to your advantage. Steve Jobs has figured it out for Apple. Information marketers are figuring it out for their businesses.

The solution is to make your freebie SO good people will WANT to steal it. When they do, you’ll get it into the hands of a LOT more people. Your “problem” will be that you don’t know exactly who they are. You now need to find ways to persuade/seduce them to purchase other products and services from you.

What kinds of things should you promote? Products/services that are at least tangentially related to your freebie. Since I deal with information marketers, it wouldn’t make sense for me to promote GARDENING equipment!

Do all of the products and services that you promote have to be your own? Hardly. I make a good bit of money by directing people who get a hold of my freebies to buy products from OTHER vendors I recommend. The vast majority of those I recommend have affiliate programs. These allow me to make money when someone clicks on my affiliate link to buy a product or service I recommend.

In virtually ALL of the cases, I reserve a separate domain name for each of my affiliate relationships. Whether it’s CoolVideoTool, WebMarketingMagic or UltraCheapDomains, I make money from anyone who clicks on my link and then buys.

Please tell people about this post. This way when someone tells a friend, who tells a friend about the post and clicks on one of the above links and buys, I GET PAID!!

The system doesn’t care if they got that link from an ebook that had been handed from a friend, who gave it to a friend who gave it to three more friends. When that SIXTH friend buys through MY link, I get paid!

This is also true with your own products. Even after your ebook has been shared 20 levels deep, the person who clicks on another link and then buys your product or service, YOU GET PAID.

What about people stealing THAT product?

Just take what I said above and LATHER-RINSE-REPEAT!

In conclusion, don’t spend your time trying to figure out how to protect your intellectual property. Instead, spend your time figuring out how to monetize the bootleg copies of your information marketing freebie that are being handed around.

Unless, of course, YOUR customers are the ones who NEVER “share” information with friends.

When you find THAT group, let me know. I’ll help them fill out their application for SAINT-HOOD.

Filed under: Blog > Information Marketing

Consult With Fred Gleeck

Want to get some advice DIRECTLY from me? Find out how I can help you (one-on-one) with YOUR business. The rates are surprisingly affordable!

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